Saturday was a very momentous occasion in the history of the world. As I'm sure you recall, it was my birthday. And not just any birthday, but the birthday when I kiss the butt of teenage life goodbye. Yes, that's right... TWENTY. Now I really have to start acting like a grown up.
Yeah, I got bored and started doodling on my photography. I hope you enjoy it. It took me like five centuries to complete.
Now, many of you may think that the best part of birthdays is the presents. Some of you may think it's the balloons, the party hats, the special treatment. But that is not the case for me. In fact, I truly detest my birthday. Too much attention. But I do like having an excuse to make myself a ginormous cake and something scrumdiddlyumptious for dinner.
Also, I enjoy the cards. That's probably the biggest highlight. Six handmade cards and six gifts from six fabulous siblings. And guess what. This year, I even got a card all the way from across the ocean...
Yes, from my biggest admirers, the Hemsworth brothers! You may not recognize the brother in the middle. Apparently he's still stuck in Australia doing soap operas. All he needs is to come to America and get a fashion consultant and I'm sure he'll be right up there with the other two.
Now, about my birthday cake. This is actually based on a cake I had many moons ago when I was but a wee child. It was something they used to have at Country Kitchen.
Country Kitchen's Chocolate Mountain Cake. That was young Yammie's perpetual answer to the question of "what's your favorite food?". It was a mountain of layers and layers of dense, delicious, heavenly chocolate bliss.
I always dreamed of having Chocolate Mountain Cake for my birthday cake, but once they stopped making it at Country Kitchen, I thought that all hope was lost. After that, I tried every chocolate cake recipe you can imagine. Every devil's food cake, every brownie I made, was heavy with the bitter taste of disappointment. I knew that I could never discover the secret magic of the chocolate mountain.
UNTIL.... one day my sister Piggie found a recipe for a flourless chocolate cake (she also happens to be the creator of the above birthday card. What a gem you are, my dear Piglet!). FLOURLESS! Who knew? That was the key. That was the secret. All those years of heartache and misery were erased in that one small bite of cake.
And now, you may join me in my bliss. You can even make it 100% gluten and dairy free if you wish! You can check out the dairy free instructions on my other blog Yammie's Glutenfreedom. I've made it both with dairy and without and it's fabulous either way. Your choice.
- You may have noticed that the layers at the top of the cake are thicker than the bottom layers. This is because I got tired of baking all the layers and did the final half of the cake in three layers instead of five.
- You can divide the batter into as many layers as you want, but you cannot cut the layers in half after they have been baked. It's like trying to cut a cheesecake into layers and is impossible.
- Also, this cake is made doubling the recipe below. You really shouldn't need more than that because it's very rich and should be served in much thinner slices than shown for common folk. If you want to have it as tall as a mountain though, go ahead and make a double batch. It might not all fit in your mixing bowl though, so beware. I made two separate batches.
- I will hopefully do a post on chocolate curls someday, but for now, all you need to know is that I melted chocolate chips into a brick, let them harden and then used a potato peeler to make curls.
Fudge Mountain Cake
Attention: To make a cake as tall as mine, you'll have to double this recipe!
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup strong coffee (I've also used brandy)
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used a mix of dutch process and regular)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease three to five 8 inch cake pans (depending on how many layers you want) and line with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and chocolate chips in the microwave or on the stove top.
Meanwhile beat together the eggs and sugar for about five minutes at high speed until pale and more than doubled in volume. Add the coffee and vanilla to the eggs and beat until combined. Sift in the cocoa and salt and mix again until combined. Stream in the melted chocolate and butter and beat until combined. Divide into prepared cake pans and bake for about 15-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out with some crumbs attached but no longer wet.
For the ganache, melt together the chocolate and about 1/4 cup of cream in the microwave. You'll want to turn the microwave power down to about 30% and stir often or use a double broiler. Set some aside to use for the top. Place the bowl of melted chocolate in a larger bowl of ice water and beat for a while until fluffy, adding more cream if it gets too thick. Use this for the filling of the layers and then use what you have set aside for the top. Top with chocolate curls. This is very good served with whipped cream.
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